Raven No. 1: Regarding Gods Written by: P.F. Chan About the Author Hey guys. My name is P.F. Chan, I am sixteen years old and live in Redmond, Washington, U.S. If you want to read more Ravens (I have 12 written) then post your comments and support on anything DC related; the DC website, DC facebook page, anything to get the word out and don't forget to like the P.F. Chan facebook page for updates, news, character bios, and more. I really thank you guys for taking the time to read this and hopefully we can get it publish. Chapter 1 "Come out, super-freak." a black hooded thug shouted into the darkness that flanked the yellow circle of light on all sides. It seemed that even the light was fearful of what lie in wait, as it too coward at a simple footstep. "You two, go check it out." the thug in the black hoody looked to his accomplices, all dressed in similarly dark clothing. The two looked at each other and shook their heads "You do it." But no one moved, they only waited... waited and listened. "May...Maybe she's gone." a fourth thug stuttered, the gun in his hand shakier than his voice. A whisper sounded from the surrounding darkness "Astral Projection." it said. The first thug shot in the direction of the sound, the tip of his gun lighting the darkness for split seconds at a time, the bullets reverberating as they hit the cold cobblestone. From behind him, one of the other thug's fist collided with his jaw...knocking him unconscious. The other thugs, trained their weapons on the assailant thug. "Hey, w-what the hell, Johnny." one of them asked, shakily. But Johnny only hung his head to his chest, unresponsive. With a quick step his fist collided with another thugs jaw, with the same unconscious state following. Johnny's fists where now dripping red with blood as they hung loose at his sides. The thugs with the trained weapons, shook, unsteadily, now "Johnny. I don't want to shoot you man." the one who had spoken before warned him, fearing a slip of his finger would kill his friend. Still Johnnys' head hung lifeless on his chest. With a single yellow flash of light and a reverberating bang, Johnny fell to his knees, a red liquid painted on his puffy black jacket...fresh and warm. "Dude, what the hell" the thug shouted to the one who fired the bullet. The one who fired, took the cigarette from his mouth and tipped the ashes onto Johnnys' lifeless eyes "Better him than me." he said, uninterested, as he put the cigarette back into his mouth, the glowing bud letting off artistic strokes of smoke that danced in the cold night. The other thug stared at the cigaretted one, anger filling his eyes. The cigaretted one smiled, balancing the white and yellow stick between his cracked lips. The angry one made a slight movement but the other would not have it, "Better you than me also buddy." he threatened, training his pistol on the angry thug's forehead. The angry one stopped in his tracks, and raised his hands in front of his chest in surrender "Ok, man...Cool it eh." From behind the thug a figure rose with an eerie silence, a black aura surrounding its body. "Behind you." the cigaretted thug pointed at the figure, his finger forcing the trigger of his gun down in panic. A bullet, shrouded in the yellow flash, ripped through the angry thug. A red liquid seeped through the hole in his chest, where the bullet had entered and through where it made its exit. The bullet passed through the auraed figure effortlessly and lodged itself into the spray painted brick of the freshly robbed building. "Astral Projection." the figure whispered. The dead thug's body stopped its slow descent to its knees, and stood upright. Its head hung lifeless against its chest, its eyes filled with the same black aura the cloaked the figure. The cigaretted thug fired another bullet into the dead thug, but it only left another hole weeping the same blood. The lifeless thug lurched forward, uncoordinated, and threw a heavy right hand at the cigaretted thug. The fist collided with the thugs jaw, the crack of the bone rebounding off of the bricked buildings, graffitied and tired, and returned to the ears of the cigaretted thug. From his mouth the cigarette fell, leaving a trail, twisted and writhing, to where it made its final breath, extinguished by a cold puddle. The black aura left the figure, as the thugs followed the cigarettes lead, and made her way out of the circle of yellow. Her footsteps reverberated sharply off of the buildings of the abandoned street, her dark blue cloak flowing majestically behind her. "Raven." a hoarse voice sounded. Raven touched her long, elegant forefinger to the communicator in her ear, hidden by her silky indigo hair. "Yeah." she replied in her usual bored tone, as she made her way from dying yellow circle to dying yellow circle, none of them seeming to fight off the darkness of the cobblestoned street. "Equinox is on top of the National Bank. It looks like he's holding Chosen and True Shot hostage. I want you to go check it out." "How are Beast Boy and Cyborg doing." Raven asked, her beautiful indigo eyes half mast as always. "Their vitals are stabilizing. Now go." the hoarse voice ordered. Raven took her finger from the communicator, her feet casually losing contact with the ground as she started towards the bank. Luckily the bank was only two streets away from where she was, so the cold night air only bit at her pale skin for a few moments. Every street on the lower west side seemed to be dead, void of light and of life, save a handful of drunken bums still holding their cardboard signs despite their unconscious state. They knew their death was at hand, no one would give to a beggar when the people were only a foots slip away from being there themselves. But why give to a world that has given nothing to you. Time, after all, does not give, only takes until the unkempt beard and shaggy hair thins and greys and eventually they too will thin and grey, and no longer be a number. Raven landed silently on a rooftop facing the marbled bank. A pair of dark clothed figures knelt at the rooftops edge, their faces lit up only momentarily by the flashes of their rifles. The sharp cracks of the rifles, the dead sound that followed as the shell fell onto the dry concrete, ensured that even a rhino could stealthily dispatch the thugs. Raven's body was surrounded by a black aura and she sank into the floor, reappearing behind the thugs. "Astral..." Raven stopped mid-phrase. The black aura disappeared and Raven forced the thugs heads together, rendering them unconscious as they slid to the floor. She looked onto the bank's marbled stairs. Streams of red striped the white, running from incapacitated bodies that dotted the flights. Despite this, more men were braving the stairs, only to be met with sharp flashes of yellow from a haphazardly constructed barricade of over turned mahogany desks that sat at the top most landing. "Batman." Raven said, as she touched her finger to the communicator. "I'm here." Batman replied, as another wave of thugs rolled, lifeless, down the stairs. "Chosen's men are trying to break into the bank." "Most likely to save Chosen," Batman surmised "get to the top and stop Equinox. Once Starfire and Robin are free, I'll send them to take care of the thugs." "Ok." Raven took her finger from her ear and closed her eyes, concentrating on the roof of the bank, on the flat grey concrete and the marbled gargoyles perched intimidatingly on the corners. "Astral Movement." she whispered. As she opened her eyes, she felt the bank solidly beneath her feet. Chapter 2Raven glanced at the two structures that had been erected on the rooftop of the bank. The first was a large vat of fuming green acid, its glow illuminating the faces of the two men dangling above it. The first man's face was hidden behind a featureless red mask, only distinguishable by the yellow bullseye symbol painted on its forehead. The glow of the acid cast a shadow over his eyes, hiding them as well as the mask hid his face. The second man's face was obscure by a featureless steel mask. A telescopic lens jutted from his right eye, a faint blue glow emanating from the left. Neither man struggled against the ropes that ensnared their arms and legs, they simply dangled in defeat. A third man stood atop the second structure; a metal platform adorned with a single control panel. In front of the control panel stood the man, the back of his white and black one-piece (split down the middle) to Raven. A third man stood on the second structure; a metal platform with a single control panel at its top. The third man stood at the control panel, the back of his white and black one piece suit (split down the middle) to Raven. "Raven. You are here." the man said as he turned around, his voice a calm monotone. His face was emotionless beneath his cloth mask, impossible to tell where the mask ended and his costume began. "Surrender yourself Equinox." Raven ordered, Equinox's passionless eyes catching her indigo for nothing more than a moment. "I am afraid that I am to important. To surrender myself would be selfish." "You have taken the lives of 30 heroes and villains." Raven shot back, though it was more Beast Boy and Cyborg she was seeking revenge for. "All to relieve this world of Pain." Equinox replied calmly, as he slowly stepped to the edge of the platform and looked down at Raven. "You cause more suffering, Equinox." Equinox's hidden eyes took on a passionless darkness as he stared at Raven "You know nothing of suffering...nor pain," he shook his head "I have done nothing but balance Chaos and Order. But humans...humans do not respect balance. So they fight, they cause suffering, they cause pain. I have attempted to let them stop the suffering but they refused. If they refuse to listen to an agent of Chaos and Order...then they will cower before a God." "Than why kidnap Chosen and True Shot." Raven asked, running through strategies to save both. "I have captured a God and I have captured a pawn." Equinox started to pace the length of the platform, his hands behind his back "Killing True Shot would not bring equality to this world for True Shot is nothing more than a mortal. However you, Raven, are daughter of Trigon...you are a demonic God, and you will make this world equal once again." Raven made a quick movement, fuelled even more by the anger her fathers name caused, and was behind Equinox in seconds. However, as she blinked, she found herself where True Shot had hung the moment before. Equinox looked to Raven. "As soon as you looked into my eyes, you have only seen what I wanted you to see. You may be a demonic princess but I am God of Order and Chaos." Equinox turned his back to Raven and started back to the control panel. Raven looked to Chosen, his yellow bullseye glowed heroically against the acids lighting. "Chosen. If I de-materialize the rope, can you send Equinox to the demon realm?" she asked telepathically. The rope bit viscously at her ankles, her cloak offering no protection for her pale skin. Chosen looked at Raven, his eyes emotionless behind his mask and shook his head. "Do not let this situation fool you Raven. We are not friends...and I am immortal." he replied, also telepathically, turning away from Raven as he finished. "Equinox will be able to absorb your immortality. You will no longer be a god." Chosen thought this over quickly, and turned back to Raven. "If you were able to free my hand, I could use the Almighty Push. But I cannot concentrate enough for it to reach that far." "How much time would you need to concentrate." Raven asked, knowing she could only buy time. Even with Robin, Starfire, Cyborg, and...and Beast Boy, Equinox was still to powerful. "To send him past the eighth gate, I would need quite a lot." Raven thought this over and finally resigned to the only thing that could supply that much power. "I have no choice, I need to use...Its power." she thought. Chapter 3IT had not changed the velvet purple room since Raven had last entered. The room was still dark and sparsely furnished, save the single deep purple couch. IT was meditating in the middle of the room, hovering calmly above the ground, though Raven knew she was anything but calm. Unlike Raven, who usually had the hood of her cloak up, IT preferred to keep the hood down to show the full beauty of their indigo hair as it fell to just below their chin. Raven started, slowly, towards IT. As she made her first step, IT exhaled a single breath from her mouth and smiled "You have come." IT said, her voice a darker monotone than Raven's. "I need your power." Raven took another step forward. IT kept her eyes closed, her dark bags contrasting heavily to their pale skin, and replied, "Why? Are you too weak to get us out of here alone." Raven took another step forward. "If I die, so do you." IT thought this over for a moment. "How much do you need?" "As much as you can give me." It smiled again. "As you wish." Raven turned and started towards the door. "Raven?" IT asked, stopping Raven in her tracks. Raven did not want to reply and she knew she would regret it, but something urged her too. "Yes." Raven replied, frozen in fear of the question. "How is our Beast Boy doing?" IT asked curiously. Beast Boy's final words reverberated in Raven's mind, "I'll protect you...always." Tears began to form in her eyes; tears of anger, tears of sadness, tears of tears. There was nothing she could do to save him, she was so weak so...so helpless. Beast Boy risked so much to save her. He charged into a battle he knew he would lose, to protect her. "Just fine." Raven replied angrily, fighting back the tears. It made another dark smile. "Don't let us lose him. We won't find another one like that." "I know." With this last statement Raven left IT to her meditation, the tears escaping and running warmly, silently down her cheeks to fall and disappear into the velvet carpet. Chapter 4Raven opened her eyes and returned to the situation at hand; Equinox still at the control panel and Chosen awaiting an answer. Dark clouds gathered overhead, blocking out the white light cast by the moon and leaving only the green glow of the vat, and the dying yellow of the city below. A light rain started, its touch cold and wet, before Raven found the strength to reply. "Now!" Raven and Chosen slid through the, now, transparent ropes and fell towards the acid. Chosen disappeared, sucked into his right eye in a swirl of motion, with Raven quick to follow. A moment later, Raven reappeared behind Equinox, launching a kick aimed for his temple. The palm of Equinox's hand collided with the top of Raven's foot, the sound it created concussive. Raven launched another kick from the other leg, Equinox's forearm ready and waiting. Kick after kick Raven launched, each faster than the last. Disappearing from one kick to reappear and launch another, and another and another. But no matter how fast she moved, Equinox's hand moved faster. "You cannot defeat me Raven." he said, as he blocked another kick and back flipped away from her, landing on the edge of the platform. "Summoning: Sage of the First Noble Truth, Truth of Suffering." A tall shadow rose in front of him, its eyes illuminated stars against its featureless midnight body. Wisps of black shadows danced like flames around the edge of his image, licking at the distorted air that surround him. "Attack." Equinox pointed his palm towards Raven. The tall shadow melted into a puddle on the floor of the platform, reforming itself behind Raven. His long translucent black fingers fit snug around her throat as her feet dangled towards the ground. Raven smiled and stared into the eyes of the shadow. "Astral Projection." her eyes glowed black as she travelled through the shadow's mind, unravelling what she could. Slowly, his grip loosened and air returned to her lungs. His arm dropped lower and lower until her feet could touched the ground once again. Finally, the shadow released Raven and melted back into a black puddle. The rain started harder now, biting at Raven through her cloak, angry at everyone that got in its way. Raven disappeared and reappeared behind Equinox, launching another kick bound to collide with his hand. "Soul-Self." she shouted. Raven's translucent shin passed through Equinox's hand, becoming solid before making contact with the bridge of his nose...almost. Equinox's hand closed around Raven's solid ankle only centimetres before the strike would have landed. He threw Raven onto the other side of the platform "You will need more than speed to beat me, Raven." he raised his palm to the sky "Divine Lightning Strike." A monstrous boom of thunder shattered the windows of the bank and deafened the combating thugs below. Equinox attempted to jump from the platform but something held him in place "Wha..." he looked down at his ankles. A pair of translucent hands, sprouting from the platform, gripped them firmly. He looked to the Raven he had just thrown but she had mysteriously disappeared. The bright white flash fell from the sky and hit Equinox, surrounding him in a cloud of grey smoke. Raven rose up through the concrete of the rooftop, surrounded by her black aura, and stared at the cloud of grey smoke. "Finished." she whispered to the backdrop of the patter of the rain. A groan sounded from inside of the smoke cloud, the metal upon metal whine of the collapsing platform seemingly unmistakeable, as a single streak shot from the smoke and disappeared into the clouds overhead. Raven looked into the clouds and then back to the grey smoke, a gust of wind clearing away just enough to observe the half-destroyed platform. "Divine Meteor Strike." Equinox fell from the sky, gaining more speed every moment he was in free fall. A fiery cone began to form around him as he neared the bank until, with the momentum of a front flip, he threw his heel against Raven's head. The dust from the concrete jumped into the air as the kick landed, forming a sea of grey mist that drowned Raven and Equinox's images to simple silhouettes. Equinox back flipped onto the unstable platform to overlook the ocean of dust. "You cannot beat a God." he said to himself as the dust started to settle, the cracked edges of a crater coming into hazy view...an empty crater. "Your Soul-Self was a smart distraction," Equinox said as a body solidified behind him "to attempt to hit me with my own lightning...it's bold. But bold won't win you this battle." Equinox extended his arm "Almighty Push." From his hand a repulsive wave expanded around him, further destroying the platform but missing Raven. Raven reappeared as the repulsive wave passed her, launching another kick at Equinox. The foot collided solidly with his chin, lifting him off of his feet and sending him to the rooftop. With a final moan the rest of the platform gave way beneath Raven's feet and fell to a pile of rubble, leaving Raven floating casually above it, her feet surrounded by her black aura. Equinox laid on the bare rooftop for a moment, Raven watching him, and slowly got to his feet. "You may have got me," he wiped something from his jawline "but I also got you. When you locked eyes with the Sage of Suffering, he was able to transfer some of my chakra into your body. Now...feel Pain." Equinox extended his arm "Almighty Push." A furious throb resounded in Raven's chest, breaking her concentration. The black aura around her feet disappeared and she fell towards the rubble pile, the struts licking their devilish lips. A blackness edged Raven's vision, encroaching further with each passing moment. "So...Soul...Sel..." Her vision blackened and her lips stopped their whisper, her body quenching the thirst of the struts. Raven's eyes reopened in the velvet room, only a slit of her indigo eyes visible. She took a wobbly step forward and fell to her knees, a dark red drop escaping the corner of her mouth and rolling over her pale skin. She coughed, a dark red substance slipping from her mouth and finding its way from her pale lips to her chin, where it dripped to the carpet. Raven's eyelids got heavier and heavier, even the slit of her indigo taking took much energy. She fell forward, IT's shoulder there to catch her. Raven's breathing slowed to a stop as her eyelids closed over their indigo. IT's eyes jerked opened, her irises glowing a bright red. "Let me." she whispered into Raven's ear, the words coming out as mist against the sudden chill of the room. Chapter 5Raven opened her eyes, dark bags had formed beneath their bright red glow. Only a single strut had managed to pierced her pale skin, its end displaying the red trophy it had won from her arm. Raven's eyes darted to the strut causing it to fade into non existence, along with its wound. With another thought, the black aura surrounded her entire body and lifted her above the rubble pile. Equinox looked up at her. "Strong," he remarked "but strength will not save you". He watched Raven rise higher and higher, the struts following her ascent, until finally she stopped. She hovered amongst the falling drops of rain, far above the bank. "Astral Acceleration." she whispered, the words floating visible as her presence chilled the air. The struts shot towards Equinox, surrounded by the black aura. However, Equinox simply stared at the missiles as they became faster and faster, their silvery tips glinting in expectation. Equinox extended his palm as the struts closed in. "Almighty Push." The struts were met by the wave of repulsion, the grey metal disintegrating into nothingness as it passed through the expanding orb...but the wave was only apparent for a moment. "Wha..." Equinox exclaimed as his repulsive wave disappeared and the struts continued with all of their previous force towards him, only missing him by a fraction of an inch as they buried themselves into the roof of the bank. Still Raven hovered amongst the dark storm clouds, a dark grin spreading itself across her lips. Equinox jumped atop each of the struts (as each had buried itself with less force than the first) and used the last, highest, strut to launch himself towards Raven. "Amaterasu." he said as he reached the climax of his jump. From his extended palm a black flame shot towards Raven, its monstrous size swallowing the sky. "Astral Accelration: Dance of the Demon's Daughter." Raven extended her palm towards the black flame, a shield of black aura appearing in front of her. The Amaterasu beat against the shield, the flame closing the distance between its target. Raven closed her eyes, concentrating harder on the shield "Azarath Metrion Zinthos." she whispered, the flame slowing its approach "Necronom Hezberek Mortix." the flame started a forced retreat as Raven continued her repetition "Azarath Necronom Hezberek Metrion Mortix ZINTHOS." The flame suddenly disappeared. "I have you." Equinox whispered from behind Raven "Almighty..." Equinox's words caught in his throat as Raven's red eyes matched his passionless. "Astral Projection: Demon Snare." Raven said, her eyes burning with the black aura. Equinox blinked and found himself bound to a cross in an open field of dark red, flames bordering the picture. The cross was encircled by an army of Ravens each holding a silver sword in their hand, the hoods of their cloaks casting a silhouette over their faces. "An illusionary technique." he thought to himself "She got me." The army to the front of Equinox parted as the original purple cloaked girl made her slow approach. With a single uniform step the part closed, leaving the unhooded Raven standing before Equinox. "You are to be stabbed for 1000 years." she said, her head tilted so only her evil smile could be seen. "But only a single second will pass in the real world." he clarified as she turned to walk away, the army parting and closing once more. "Illusions." he chuckled. For 1000 years he was stabbed, each of the swords slicing a fresh slit into his skin. The white of his uniform stained red, the black darkened to purple as the blood ran from the tears...with pain unimaginable. Equinox blinked again and found himself falling towards the Earth, unable to moved or even speak. "Gods cannot lose." he thought to himself as he plummeted, the bank becoming closer and closer. The wind whistled in his ears and the rain stung his skin as he fell. "Gods cannot lose...Gods cannot lose...Gods..." "Come Equinox. I want to show you something." Ahrimane's voice boomed against the dark brick walls of the hallway. Equinox followed obediently behind his father, the midnight cape that cascaded from his shoulders sailing across the dark brick of the floor. The torches, that dotted the walls of the hall, would die as he passed by. The bricks of the floor would crack and crumble as the metal of his dark boots touched them, just to become reborn as he made another large stride. In Ahrimane's presence all withered and died, nothing was beyond the Lord of Chaos. "I wonder what he wants to show me." Equinox thought as they passed door after door, each crafted with the same intricate detail. Around the large columns that flanked the dark wooden doors wound the scales of flying serpents, the dragon rearing back it's head to protect the backs of any who passed beneath it. Their jade stone eyes stared down their long snots, menacingly. The doors themselves dawned the images of noble trees, etched out of a dark metal that was only visible against the dark wood because of its protrusion from the door. At the end of the Great Hall sat the grand double doors of the Mortal Room. What lay behind the ungraven brown, Equinox did not know. Both Ahrimane and Isabella had forbid him from entering the room. Neither him, nor the other young gods, had ever seen the inside. "Th-The Mortal Room?" Equinox asked, the doors swinging themselves open at Ahrimane's approach. "Do not worry, child. You are allowed entrance to this room just this once." Ahrimane put his hand between Equinox's shoulders "Come." he finished, stepping into the room. The room was certainly large, as all the rooms in the Palace of the Gods were. The same dark brick of the hallway sprawled itself across the floor here, dust and cobwebs sitting in the dim empty corners of the room. The only form of light came from the only object in the room, a circular table at it's centre. "Look down at them, Equinox." Ahrimane said, pointing towards the table. Equinox looked up at his father, his long beard reaching to chest, his lips hidden by the stiff black hairs. His face was contorted by anger, as always, but his eyes held something that Equinox had never seen there before...a glint of some kind of hope, almost happiness. "There is nothing to fear, child." Ahrimane reassured, the phrase unnatural to his concealed lips. He ambled towards the table, his hand still on Equinox's back. "Look at them Equinox. Look at the Mortals." he stared down at the table. On it was a three dimensional circular map of the Earth, the mountains jutting off of the map and the oceans sinking deep into the table. "Each of these dots are a human." Ahrimane explained, pointing to the billions of tiny white dots that plagued each of the continents. Equinox, upon tip-toes, stared in astonishment at the table. "But what are the red dots?" he asked, as he noticed that every second or so dozens upon dozens of white dots would flash red and disappear. Ahrimane looked down at the boy, satisfied that his curiosity would lead him to the matter he wanted to discuss. "Those are humans that have died." he explained. "Why are there so many?" Equinox asked. "Humans...are a violent race. They devour all they can until they themselves are devoured by another." "Don't any of them want peace?" Equinox asked, as another dozen died. "Peace does not exist on Earth and will never." "Why not?" "In order for there to be true peace, every human must be made to know pain." Equinox looked up at Ahrimane, confused. How could pain cause peace? Ahrimane noticed his glance and explained. "If all the humans were to know pain, to know suffering, they would do all they could to avoid it. That is the only way that there can be true peace." "Really?" "Ye..." The double doors threw themselves open to a bright white light shining triumphantly amongst the darkness. "No." the white light said, as its brightness condensed into a figure. "Isabella." Equinox said happily running towards the fair skinned women, her robes akin to that of Ahrimane save that hers were bright white. "Hello Equinox." her voice rang a calm mellifluously tone, as she hugged Equinox. "What is today's lesson, Husband." she asked, returning to her full height. She started towards the table, her steps turning the dark bricks a white gem stone. "True Peace." Ahrimane replied slowly, stressing each word. "His mission." Isabella said to herself as she looked down at the table, her white hair even fairer against Ahrimane's. "Mission?" Equinox looked up at fair skinned women. Ahrimane and Isabella looked at each other, contemplating whether it was to early to tell the child his true purpose. "You are the chosen son of the Lords of Order and Chaos." Isabella started "Just like the rest of the Gods, you too have a mission." "Yours, however, will not be served here...in our Kingdom," Ahrimane elaborated "but down there amongst the humans." he finished, looking down at them. "But...w-will I ever be able to return. T-to see you?" Equinox asked, the thought of losing them causing tears to well in his eyes. "Yes." Isabella said comfortingly, as she dried the child's tears. "However, only after you have completed your mission. In order to return to this Kingdom, you must stop pain and suffering." Ahrimane said, not looking away from the table. "B-but how?" Equinox asked, more tears escaping and running down his face at the meer thought of the task. Isabella knelt next to him, caringly. "You must balance Order and Chaos. Only then can you complete your task." "What if I can't?" the boy buried his face into Isabella's shoulder, the smell that drifted from her neck comforting as it always was. Isabella ran her hand over the fuzz of the boy's hair. "Do not fret, Equinox." she hushed as she repeated the process. "Equinox." Ahrimane knelt next to the boy. Equinox pulled his face away from Isabella's shoulder and looked into his dark eyes "If you find that you cannot, then try harder. Remember this...You cannot defeat a God." Ahrimane smiled, proudly at Equinox. "Ahrimane...Isabella...I...I will return to you." Equinox thought as a single tear escaped his eyes and implanted itself on his mask, staining the spot a wet grey. "I must...I must be strong and remember," Equinox closed his eyes "YOU CANNOT DEFEAT A GOD." he screamed, forcing his eyes open and breaking the Demon Snare's paralysis. "DIVINE DOPPLEGANGER." he shouted, a fiery determination burning in his eyes. A thousand shadowy figures slid out of Equinox's image, until the bank could no longer see the stormy sky. Each of the figures extended their palms in a single uniform motion, their backs still approaching the rooftop. "AMATERASU: DIVINE CANNON." From each of the Equinox's palms, a ball of black fire shot towards Raven. The ball writhed around itself with tails of flame whipping off of the surface, lashing out against the night's rain. Raven smiled at this challenge. "Astral Acceleration: Dance of the Demon's Daughter." the same black aura-ed shield formed in front of her, each ball causing the surface of the shield to ripple before being absorbed into it's midnight water. "Simple." she gloated to herself as the fire continued to hit the shield and disappear. "SIX PATH SPEAR." Equinox screamed. The fires that were next to hit, elongated into thin needles. Raven simply hovered there, smiling, as the needles continued towards the shield. As they hit, they passed straight through the black aura and burrowed themselves into Raven, each slicing through her pale skin with the heat of a thousand suns. Still more needles entered Raven's body until her pale skin had turned a dark black. "Em...Empa...thetic...Healing." Raven choked, drops of blood escaping from the corners of her mouth as she spoke. "DIVINE..." Equinox paused as the pain that Raven had experienced traversed it's way to him. The needles in Raven's body disappeared as Equinox broke concentration and hit the rooftop, causing the struts to jump into the air. Equinox extended his arm as they began their decent towards him. "Al...Almighty Push." The struts shot themselves towards Raven, disappearing with the sheer speed of their propulsion and reappearing only feet away from her. Raven extended her hand, forcing the struts to halt their movement instantly. Equinox smiled, as his back lay against the bank's cracked roof. "Divine Lightning Strike." A streak of lightning fell from the sky and hit Raven on it's way to the struts. Raven exclaimed in pain as the blue streak ran through her, accidentally destroying the struts in the process. Raven looked down at Equinox, her eyes glowing with the black aura as anger began to grow inside of her. "Chakra Blade." More of the black aura surrounded Raven's hand and then disappeared, leaving a silver bladed Katana in her grip. Raven pointed the tip at Equinox, the blade winking at him...devilishly. "Chakra Barrage." From the end of the blade, a powerful beam of the black aura fired towards where he lay on the rooftop, with power enough to deafen the most ferocious thunder. "Six Path Shield." Equinox responded in the moments it took the beam to reach him. A shadowy shield formed in front of him and was just in time to block the beam. The shield battled against the beam's power and found itself retreating slowly, the beam coming closer and closer to Equinox's body. Suddenly, the beam stopped to the relief of the shield, as it disappeared tiredly. As it fell, Equinox was met by a cold metal blade sliding into his chest and pinning him to the rooftop. Raven back flipped away from Equinox, leaving the blade's hilt jutting out of his chest "You...can...cannot beat...a God." Equinox choked painfully as he attempted to move, but his body refused. Raven smiled, darkly. "Chakra Clone." Raven's body was surrounded by the black aura. From her image 10 more slid out, becoming solid once the black aura had dissipated. Each was a mirror image of the first Raven. "Chakra Blade." they said in unison. Each of the Ravens' blades appeared, a symphony of glints amongst the dark spoilt rooftop. Each of them shot forward and drove their sword through a different part of Equinox's chest. Every blade burning with new pain as it entered and exited into the rooftop. After the last stake had been driven, Raven approached Equinox, savouring every step, with the army of clones standing menacingly behind her. "Release." she said, after the third click of her heeled boots. Each of the Ravens disappeared one by one, until finally it was only Raven and Equinox. "Y...you..are powerful...Raven" Equinox sputtered, as Raven stopped in front of him "Y...you are t...truly the daughter of...of Trigon...However...I...I must work...to stop suffering. If I am to...die...so...are...you" "Sage... of the Eightfold Path...Final Judgement." he said, tiredly, closing his eyes. "Almighty Push" Equinox was forced backwards into a black portal, travelling past the Eight Gate of the Underworld... to be imprisoned there for 8000 years. Chapter 6As the portal closed, Raven fell to her knees, and finally onto her back...unconscious. Chosen looked to the openness of the city, looked to the far lights of...of freedom, and then back to Raven sprawled lifeless on the rooftop. She had risked her life to save him but...but what did he care, she was not his friend...he could never have any friends or...or the same thing would happen that happened to his parents. He looked back to freedom but, freedom can't be seen, freedom can only be felt, and if he let Raven... Chosen walked to Raven and knelt beside her, the rain beating down noisily against the broken concrete. Raven's breathing was shallow and no amount of medical treatment could bring her back...she was lost to medical science. Chosen placed one of his hands onto Raven's chest. With the other he took off his mask and laid it beside him. With his forefinger he touched the bullseye on his forehead and closed his eyes "Outer Path: Samsara of Heavenly Life." He knew the pain that would follow, but it was the only way. Chosen's breath became heavy and fast. A sharp pain, like a thousand suicide attempts, resounded through his whole body. After a minute of this resounding pain, a minuscule ball of light appeared out of his forehead mark. The ball of light floated leisurely towards Raven, dancing this way and that until it landed on her chest and sank beneath her skin. Chosen took his hand off of Raven's chest and sputtered heavily, the rain still falling, falling off of his nose and dripping from his chin. Chosen looked to Raven. Her chest rose and fell normally. Her eye lids closed lightly, serenely over her eyes. She looked, so at peace...even...even...beautif... "Now...Now I will always be with you Raven. Now you are under my protection." Chosen said, as he watched her, lovingly. "Raven! Raven!" a voice called from the bottom of bank "Raven are you here?" Chosen put his mask back on and disappeared into the sprinkle of the night. As Robin and Starfire landed on the rooftop, Chosen was gone and Raven was alone...or was she.